Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement in response to explosions on Palm Sunday at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt that have killed at least 40 and injured at least 100:
“In the early hours of Palm Sunday, as Christians began the celebration of the holiest week of the year, our brothers and sisters in Egypt suffered unspeakable persecution. They were at Church. They were praying. And in the midst of what should be peace, horrible violence yet again. I express our deepest sadness at the loss of those killed, our prayers for healing for all those injured, and our condolences to those who suffer the loss of loved ones.
I also express our solidarity with the Coptic church in Egypt, an ancient Christian community that faces mounting persecution in its historic home from violent extremism. I also pray for the nation of Egypt, that it may seek justice, find healing, and strengthen protection for Coptic Christians and other religious minorities who wish only to live in peace.
I also join Pope Francis in his prayer for the victims of this attack, and that ‘the Lord [may] convert the hearts of the people who are sowing terror, violence and death, and also the hearts of those who make and traffic weapons.’ The Prince of Peace assures us that the darkness of terror cannot withstand the Easter light of Resurrection. We entrust all those who suffer and who have perished into the arms of the crucified and Risen Christ.”